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Calder on fire in wet and testing Youth Nationals conditions

by Richard Aspland, RYA 4 Apr 2018 20:05 BST 2-6 April 2018
Jamie Calder on day 3 of the 2018 RYA Youth Nationals in Largs © Marc Turner / RYA

Day three of the 2018 RYA Youth National Championships brought about the first chance for racing in Largs, Scotland, and Scottish Laser sailor Jamie Calder took full advantage streaking ahead of the chasing pack.

Calder wasn't the only one determined to take hold of their fleet as gaps already begin to open at the top of the Nacra15 and 420. Things get a little tighter in the 29er as trading places bunches the top of the leaderboard on a wet and windy day on the Scottish coast.

Laser Standard

Home nation sailor Jamie Calder came flying out of the blocks in the Laser Standard with a perfect two wins from two races (Loch Tummel SC/Dalgety Bay SC) to start his Youth Nationals campaign.

The wait was a little longer than expected to get racing underway for Calder due to the weather conditions in Largs, but when the action started he was a little surprised by what he was faced with on the water: "It wasn't as windy as we actually expected it to be," said Calder. "There were some big gusts but it was just really shifty, especially the first race. It was like a big game of snakes and ladders with nearly everyone in the fleet leading at some point on the first beat."

Some might think that sailing close to home might have given Calder the edge on the first day of racing, but Calder isn't one of those people: "I haven't sailed in a north easterly here at Largs for a long time so I don't think it was down to past knowledge.

"It was just a get your head out of the boat and look around day. Decisions today were just based on the pressure systems and what the rest of the fleet was doing."

The closest competitor to Calder is Joseph Mullan (SUWC) who sailed consistently to take two second placed finishes and leave him in second place overall in the standings.

Jake Farren-Price (Chew Valley Lake SC) currently holds third spot with a third and a fourth from the day.

Laser Radial Girls

There's a three way tie at the top of the Laser Radial Girls fleet with Daisy Collingridge (Waldringfield), Stephanie Wingeatt (Leigh and Lowton SC) and Chloe Barr (Stokes Bay) all on five points.

Collingridge and Wingeatt both scored a first and fourth place while Barr took second and third place from the two races of the day.

Sitting at the top, Collingridge knows that in the ever changing conditions that Largs has been offering up it is important to post some bankable numbers: "I'm really happy with how the day went. It was pretty tricky dealing with the cold and there were some big shifts and place changes throughout the day so it's good to come away with two countable results."

Matilda Nicholls (Royal Lymington YC / Aldeburgh YC) and Iona Dixon (Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre) are within touching distance of the podium places sitting in fourth and fifth respectively.

Laser Radial Boys

Two second places was enough to take Arthur Fry (Royal Lymington Yacht Club) to the top of the Laser Radial Boys fleet.

The first bullet of the day went to Tom Renny (Teifi BC/ Fishguard Bay YC) who followed up with a fourth place to sit in second overall behind Fry.

If you didn't know better you would guess that three was Arthur Brown's (Royal Burnham YC/Burnham SC) favourite number as he finished third in both races and sits in third overall in the standings. However Brown will be happy with his high finishes as other sailors like Jake Bowhay (Stokes Bay) struggled for consistency taking a bullet and tenth place finish to sit in fifth.

Sandwiched between Brown and Bowhay is Matt Beck (Bowmoor) in fourth.


In a first full dedicated fleet for the Nacra15 it was William Smith and Abigail Clarke (Grafham SC/Lymington YC) who led the way with an impressive 1,1,2 scoreline.

The pair have only ever sailed together as a team, and it seems like the familiarity is paying off in the tricky Largs venue: "It was a real range of conditions. We seemed to have a bit of everything today," said Clarke.

Despite the changing conditions, Clarke pinpointed the recipe for success: "It was definitely about the quick mode changes today. If you got a good start and nailed the mode changes you could see the rest of the fleet slip in behind you and then the race was fairly easy."

The first team to slip in behind were Morgan Smith and Molly Desorgher (Rutland Sailing Club) who bagged two second places before finally getting ahead to take the final bullet of the day to sit in second overall.

At present Smith/Clarke and Smith/Desorgher look the ones to beat with a gap of seven points already opened up between the team in second and third placed Ben Harris and Annabel Luxton (Weston/Royal Lymington).


Freddie Peters and Elliott Wells (HISC) sailed confidently in the 29er taking two third places to put them top of the leaderboard.

It was club mates James Hammett and Piers Nicholls (HISC) though who took the first bullet of the day to set them up well ahead of the fleet. However, the pair couldn't quite manage the consistency of Peters/Wells as a seventh place finish was all they could muster from the second race. It was enough to keep them in second overall though.

Sitting in third position and the top girls team are Hannah Bristow and Jessica Jobson (WPNSA/RTYC). A second and sixth place finish was enough to give the pair daylight between them and the next best girls team of Bella Fellows and Anna Sturrock (Yealm YC) who are ten points adrift of their rivals.

Fellows/Sturrock started badly with a 17th place finish in the first race but came back fighting to take the second bullet on offer. There is still work to do though for the pair.


Jack Lewis and Charlie Bacon (Draycote Water Sailing Club) and Niamh Harper and Ross Thompson (Loch Tummel SC + Royal Tay YC/ Frensham Pond SC) have breathing room at the top of the 420 fleet as both scored a 1,2 from the day.

As the top two teams sit on three points, nine back and in third are Charlotte Boyle and Georgia Baker (RLYC) who scored two sixth place finishes. Boyle/Baker are however the top girls team and have a healthy 18 point advantage over the next placed girls team of Ellie Driver and Rachael Cross (Draycote Water SC / Barnt Green SC).

The forecast for day four of the 2018 RYA Youth Nationals looks promising for a big day of racing as the sun breaks through in the late afternoon to close proceedings in Largs, Scotland.

Day four racing at the 2018 RYA Youth National Championships is scheduled to begin at 10:55 GMT on Thursday 5 April.

All results for the 2018 RYA Youth Nationals can be found at

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